You know who’s been a lazy blogger recently? THIS GIRL! And, who’s been a lazy cook lately, too? THIS GIRL!
This isn’t a soup recipe, although I do have a few soup recipes that I need to blog before I totally forget about them. Have you made my Asian Chicken Chili soup recipe? I’ve made it a few times in the last few weeks, using bok choy, carrots, bell peppers, and cooking a big pot of rice that people can add as they want. If you want a fast and healthy meal, give it a go!
In the meantime, here is a recipe that the kids and I have been enjoying about once a week. They like it because it’s mac n cheese; I like it because it’s whole foods (I consider cheese a “whole food,” don’t rain on my parade if it’s not, please?) and full of veggies.
Does anybody else love, love, love the delectable combination that is creamy and spicy? Exhibit 1: Pioneer Woman’s jalapeno poppers, which disappear whenever we make them, no matter how many we make (if you happen to have a few leftover, they’re actually quite good for breakfast the next morning). Exhibit 2: Johnny Carino’s has a spicy-creamy pasta that I’ve had like three times and tried to replicate about half a dozen. Exhibit 3: this soup.
This chili was a little bit of a leap of faith for me since it prominently features two flavors that I’m not typically wild about: pumpkin and parsley. However, I was feeling adventurous and wanted to celebrate some fall flavors. Plus, I was feeding it to a crowd, so there were good odds that I wouldn’t be eating the leftovers for days by myself. And, the recipe came from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, a food blog that has never left me anything but supremely happy with her recipes. She strikes the perfect balance between a variety of flavors, but not-too-out-there (she is feeding a houseful of kids after all), and reasonable amount of preparation. Remember that white chili recipe you all love? That’s from Mel.
My mom has been making this soup, from the fantastic Creme de Colorado cookbook, for ages. I have the recipe hand-written on a recipe card from her when I went to seminary, and at the time I was a little shocked to discover how expensive white pepper was/is. It was worth it in this soup, though, and now I’ve discovered that our local Natural Grocers sells white pepper for a fraction of the price of other stores.
My kids are on a broccoli kick. A few nights ago, they both refused everything else that I had on offer; Tito munched on a bowl of buttered broccoli like it was a bowl of popcorn while he was watching soccer with daddy. Lili ate her tiny broccoli florets by the fistful. So when it was time to decide what to make the little one for her first birthday, I went with something I hoped she’d love: broccoli cheese soup (and she did).
You guys, this soup was such a pleasant surprise, although after making it, I can’t imagine how the original poster of the recipe managed to make it photogenic. The recipe caught my eye on Pinterest and I’d planned to make it for a Happy Hour night a few weeks ago, but then T got a flu bug and we cancelled so as not to share the buggy love, and then we had things going on for the next two weeks, and so here we are, three or four weeks later and I’ve got the meat already-browned in one bag in the freezer and the veggies all chopped up in another bag in the freezer, and I’d even frozen part of a bag of shredded cheese from Costco, so I pretty much just had to throw things together and put them on the stove.
What do you do when you unexpectedly end up with a Costco box of tomatoes? When you have a soup blog and a crowd of people for whom you make soup (and chips, salsa and margaritas) every Friday evening (click here for more info), you decide to make those tomatoes into soup!
This is a great recipe from a somewhat unexpected place, my trusty old Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. I wish I remembered who had given me this cookbook or when. I just know that I’ve had it since about the time I graduated from college and I used it for a lot of basic recipes and instructions when I was learning to cook. It’s got all the basics, and every once in a while, I happen upon a gem like this light and tasty Chipotle Chicken Soup.
“You need to put this on your soup blog:” a good way to tell when a soup has hit the spot.
Another way to tell is when the pot of soup is literally scraped clean by the guests. I think we have a winner, folks.